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Redeeming Our Sexual Brokenness
by Tom Goodman
February 24, 2016

In her twenties Katie Roiphe wrote a book called Last Night in Paradise.  It was about the anxieties and uncertainties of sex for her generation.  She recalled a moment in the college dorm room she shared with three other women.  Every weekend she would discover a different man belonging to a different roommate, brushing his teeth at their bathroom sink.  One morning a man came out of and went into a different bedroom than the one he had visited weeks earlier.  Ms. Roiphe says those dorm room experiences left her with "a readiness for limits, for someone to say 'this is not a healthy way to live.'"

She was reluctant to write in terms of absolute right and wrong.  Still, she did confess that she wished she had "a giant book that would tell me how to live my life."

That giant book exists.  As we commit to Christ, we begin a lifelong process of conforming our lives to his expectations as found in the Bible.  And this includes his expectations for our sexuality.

This call to sexual self-discipline baffles many in our world, where sex is simply seen as an appetite to satisfy.  But this call has continued to strike a chord in people worn out from sexual liberties that cannot fulfill.  In the summer of A.D. 386, a man named Augustine wept alone in the garden of his mother's house.  Maybe you know the name of Augustine as the greatest thinker of the western world, but on this particular afternoon he was just a young man worn out from an aimless life of undisciplined pleasure.  As he sat weeping, he heard a child singing in a neighboring house, "Tolle, lege! Tolle, lege!" ("Take up and read!  Take up and read!").  A scroll lay by his side -- a copy of the Bible which happened to be opened to Romans 13:11-14 This is a passage where Paul challenged believers to discard the deeds of darkness.  "No further would I read, nor had I any need," Augustine later wrote of the experience.  "Instantly, at the end of this sentence, a clear light flooded my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away."

Augustine found relief in an invitation to sexual self-discipline, and he surrendered to Christ.  We can be sure that the Bible's challenge to sexual purity still resonates with world-weary converts two thousand years later.  This Sunday, we'll study 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 in a sermon called "Redeeming Our Sexual Brokenness."  Join us at 10am online or onsite.


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